• rss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin

Governor's Newsletter, Winter 1999

Governor's Column

James L. Bernene, MD, FACP
Governor, Connecticut Chapter ACP

Greetings from the Governor' s office of the Connecticut Chapter of the ACP and a belated Happy New Year. I apologize for my tardiness in communicating via newsletter to the membership, but frankly, so much has been happening that it has been difficult finding time to write one. By this time, I am sure that you are all aware that the two national organizations, the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine officially became "one" as of July 1998. However, it was left to each individual chapter to work out their own combined governance structure and as Paul Dolinsky writes to you in his column, we have been hard at work in Connecticut doing just that. I am happy to report that effective February 1999, we will become "one" organization locally as well. What this combination has allowed us to do is to develop what I believe will be a much more effective organization which will be better able to provide service to our membership and deal with outside forces that impact upon our everyday professional lives.

There are many structural changes throughout the new organization, perhaps the most significant of which is that the Governor' s Council now consists of not only appointed members, but also elected members. Many of you may not be aware of what the Council does, but in the past it has been strictly advisory to the Governor with most of the work in the organization being done by various committees, e.g., Health and Public Policy or the Associates Committee. Although a significant portion of the work of the organization will still be done in committee, now all of these committees will officially report back to the Governor's Council where specific action plans will be decided upon. I know this may not sound like very much of an organizational shift but in fact it is a major one for our local chapter.

In addition to a more expanded role for the Governor's Council, we will also have a much needed support staff in place for the Connecticut Chapter. Heading this new staff will be Nancy Sullivan, who is our Executive Secretary and is salaried by the organization to handle many of the secretarial functions of the chapter which were formerly an immense burden on the Governor' s office. This will allow us to more efficiently respond to you in a timely manner whether it be concerning health and public policy issues or specific membership requests.

The newly structured Council will also include a Vice-President and a Secretary/Treasurer who will be elected from the Council members and have specific duties related to the organization as specified in our new by-laws. Mentioning the Secretary/Treasurer reminds me that the state of our finances remains healthier than it has ever been with currently little more than $70,000 in our accounts, as well as some remaining $40,000 on the former CSIM ledgers. The latter will be used to develop a foundation, as Paul Dolinsky notes.

During the next year, in addition to some ongoing projects, we plan to develop a Connecticut Chapter Web site, host a meeting of all the Chairs of the Departments of Medicine across the state, develop our student and associate programs, and be a very vocal and active participant in our State legislature when it comes to issues that affect internal medicine.

I have included a listing of our current Council members along with their telephone numbers or e-mail addresses should you wish to contact any of them. Similarly, the Governor's office will try to remain very available and responsive to your needs. I look forward to serving as your Governor these next two years and working closely with you to accomplish the aforementioned goals or the new ones that we develop. Medicine is a rapidly changing profession and I believe the Connecticut ACP has restructured itself to best deal with the challenges in this new environment. I hope you agree.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 1999.

The Connecticut Society of Internal Medicine Transitions Into ACP

Paul Dolinsky, MD, Past-President of CSIM

July 1998 was the official start date of the combined national organizations of the American Society of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians, however, some individual state chapters have had a more prolonged timetable, including Connecticut. Leaders of both Connecticut internal medicine organizations had begun meeting and planning for the merger well before the July start date of the national organization. We continue to work well together building the foundation for a single strong group. Dr. John D'Avella, our most recently elected CSIM president, Connecticut's ACP Governor Jim Bemene, MD, myself and other members of the Governor's Council have been developing and refining the by-laws that determine how the new organization will operate. Other former presidents of CSIM have been involved in the transitional Governors Council, including Dr. Joe Misiak and Dr. Bret Gerstenhaber. We are pleased that the new Connecticut ACP leadership will be a more democratic body, responsive to the needs of the diverse interests of internists in our state.

One legacy from CSIM that will benefit the new ACP in Connecticut is the addition of a dedicated staff person, Nancy Sullivan from Connecticut Association Services, to support our activities. Nancy had been an invaluable resource for 13 years for CSIM and we look forward to her involvement in future years with ACP.

Finally, as we close the books on CSIM, we have the accumulated assets of almost $40,000 to manage. Dr. Joe Misiak suggested the creation of a Foundation to hold these funds. Interest from the Foundation could help finance an annual event or award that would perpetuate the ideals for which CSIM was created. If you are a former CSIM member and would like to suggest a focus for use of these funds (such as an award for Legislator of the Year, public health initiative, etc.) let us know.

E-mail: dolinsky4@aol.com
Fax: (860) 953-9288
Telephone: (860) 953-5151

Joseph L. Belsky, MD, FACP, Awarded Mastership

J. Bernene, MD, FACP

It is my great pleasure to announce that Joseph L. Belsky, MD, FACP has been awarded a Mastership by the Board of Regents of the ACP. This award will be bestowed at the College's 80th Annual Session in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Joe Belsky has indeed had a long and distinguished career in medicine. I have known Joe over the past twenty-five years and view him as the quintessential clinician/educator. For many years, he was the Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Danbury Hospital, as well as being Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program there. He has served the College in many capacities, first as Chair of the Associates Committee and then as the Governor of the Connecticut Chapter. He has been honored as a Laureate Award winner and has been the College's representative to the Medicine Review Committee. Joe remains active in the practice of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and also in his local community on the Board of Education.

Many of us have known Joe Belsky as a friend, colleague and at times mentor, and I know I speak for all of us when I express the Connecticut Chapter' s heartfelt congratulations.

Health & Public Policy Committee

Robert McLean, MD, FACP, Chair

In last year's legislative session, the ACP Health & Public Policy Committee worked closely with the legislative liaisons of the Connecticut State Medical Society to successfully prevent the passage of problematic legislation advocating the independent medical practice of nurse practitioners. We anticipate that this issue will arise once again this year, and we will work with CSMS again to defend the practice of medicine by only those trained to do so.

In working with the CSMS legislative liaisons, we realized their political organization could be more effectively utilized by us as internist members. We have subsequently decided that on most major issues we can adequately remain informed and can adequately lobby in Hartford through our CSMS contacts, and therefore we have decided to not retain our own lobbyist for the coming year.

The other major issues which have been identified by CSMS for hopeful legislative activity in the coming session include various aspects of managed care regulation and confidentiality of patient medical records and information (especially computerized pharmacy information.) Our committee feels strongly that the political moment is right to measure. CSMS already participates through the MATCH coalition in efforts to decrease underage smoking, and this has generally been a topic within the CSMS Public Health Committee rather than the Legislative Committee. The banning of smoking in restaurants has been effectively legislated elsewhere, and we should not miss the opportunity in Connecticut. There already exists bills this session on this topic, and we will do all we can to encourage their passage.

However, to truly have an impact on this or other issues, we will need the help of all our members. We need to increase the involvement of internists at the grassroots level in calling legislators and testifying in Hartford when necessary. If you have even a remote interest in helping in this fashion, please contact our Executive Secretary, Nancy Sullivan, to have your e-mail/fax placed on our list of contacts.

Medical Student Report

Barry J. Wu, MD, FACP

Medical student membership in ACP has increased 122% over the past 5 years. In 1998, there were 158 medical student members in Connecticut. Medical students had typically been exposed to ACP during their third and fourth year medical student clerkships in the past. This year we participated in a medical student fair to invite first and second year students to sign up for free membership. We hope to continue to increase our medical student membership.

We have been fortunate to have medical students participate in our Spring Scientific Meeting for the past four years. In 1998, three students from the University of Connecticut and one student from Yale presented their research. Donna Windish from the University of Connecticut and Dennis Lee from Yale were chosen to give oral presentations of their research at our Annual Meeting in October. Their presentations were spectacular and were one of the highlights of the meeting.

This year we will be organizing a committee consisting of faculty, private attendings and students to enrich the medical student program. We will be establishing an award given at graduation to students from Yale and the University from Connecticut entering an internal medicine program in Connecticut. We will also be enhancing opportunities for students to participate in community service, research and educational experiences. If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact Barry Wu, MD, FACP at (203) 789-3982 or by e-mail at bwu@srhs.org.

Associates Column

Thomas J. Lane, MD, Chair

The Spring Associates Research Day will be held at the Trumbull Marriott Hotel, on May 14, 1999. This meeting provides a venue for internal medicine residents and medical students to present original research or case vignettes in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Over the years, many residents have had their first research presentation at the Spring Meeting, and we usually have participation from all twelve internal medicine residencies and both medical schools in Connecticut.

The meeting is day-long, and contains both oral and poster presentation sessions. Last year, eight oral presentations were given, and over 90 posters were displayed in the Grand Ballroom at the Marriott. This is a wonderful opportunity for our residents and medical students to meet, mix and appreciate each other's increasingly solid research efforts. We also look forward to a delightful lunch in the Marfiott's "tent" and a stirring address by a faculty research mentor (it's Yale's turn this year).

This year, we plan to offer more prizes than ever! First, second and third place awards will be give for both oral and poster presentations, and an award will be given for the best student research. In addition, we will host a competition among Connecticut's twelve internal medicine residencies for the best oral presentation. We may need to award an Associates' Research Cup.

So, residencies and students, man your word processors and data bases and crank out those abstracts! Hope to greet you on May 14th.

1999 Governor's Council

Nancy Adams, MD, FACP
Department of Nephrology/Medicine University of Connecticut School of Medicine
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
(860) 679-2799
Fax: (860) 679-3968
E-mail: adams@nso.uchc.edu

Paul Dolinsky, MD
97 South Street
Suite #101
West Hartford, CT 06110
(860) 953-9288
Fax: (860) 953-9586
E-mail: dolinsky4 @aol.com

James Bernene, MD, FACP
Chairman, Dept. of Medicine New Britain General Hospital
100 Grand Street
New Britain, CT 06050-2019
(860) 224-5661
Fax: (860) 224-5785
E-mail: jbemene@nbgh.org

Joel Blumberg, MD, FACP
2 V2 Dearfield Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 661-4577
Fax: (203) 625-9626

Sherri Clayton, MD, FACP
Program Director
Hospital of St. Raphael Department of Medicine
1450 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-3184
Fax: (203) 789-3222

Joseph Cleary, MD, FACP
Norwalk Hospital Department of Medicine
34 Maple Street
Norwalk, CT 06856-5050
(203) 852-2375
Fax: (203) 855-3589

John D'Avella, MD
85 Seymour Street
Suite g900
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 241-0700

Brett Gerstenhaber, MD
60 Temple Street
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 789-1338
Fax: (203) 789-1478

Thomas Lane, MD
New Britain General Hosptial
100 Grand Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 224-5661
Fax: (860) 224-5785
E-mail: tlane@nbgh.org

Robert McLean, MD
New Haven Medical Group, PC
46 Prince Street
New Haven, CT 06519-1633
(203) 772-0011
Fax: (203) 785-9352

David Podell, MD, FACP
Chairman, Dept. of Medicine Waterbury Hospital
64 Robbins Street
Waterbury, CT 06721
(203) 573-7194
Fax: (203) 573-6707
E-mail: rmmclean@optonline.net

Noel Robin, MD, FACP
Chairman, Dept. of Medicine Stamford Hospital
Shelboume Rd at West Broad St
P.O. Box 9317
Stamford, CT 06904-9317
(203) 325-7485
Fax: (203) 325-7368